Beginnings of the Parish
Holy Redeemer was formed in 1886 when 45 families of the Webster Groves area petitioned Archbishop P.R. Kenrick to organize a new parish in their locality. Approval was given and a lot purchased for the proposed church and rectory on the southwest corner of Lockwood and Selma Avenues. Reverend Cornelius O’Leary, a controversial and outspoken social reformer who had been pastor in DeSoto, MO was appointed the first pastor. In 1897 a new stone church, located at the corner of Lockwood and Joy Avenues, was completed and dedicated.
Beginnings of the School
In September 1898, Loretto Academy opened a school for young ladies and for girls in elementary grades. A parish school for boys, taught by the Sisters of Loretto opened in the old church. Enrollment, 25 pupils. In the autumn of 1901 a new school room was erected at the rear of the former church. By 1904 the enrollment was 40 pupils with two rooms operating. In 1907 there were eight grades and the enrollment had climbed to 66 pupils. In 1909 the sisters of Loretto withdrew and the Dominican Sisters of Sparkhill, NY took over and brought the school from its humble beginnings to its present position.